Addison's Disease Syndrome; the flip side of Cushings
Addison's disease, like Cushing's syndrome is considered to be a disorder of the adrenal glands and is related to the Endocrine system. Adrenal insufficiency is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary adrenal insufficiency, is often referred to as Addison's disease, and is usually due to a destructive disease process affecting the adrenal glands that result in deficiencies of cortisol and aldosterone. The most common cause of Addison's disease is idiopathic atrophy, an autoimmune disease in which adrenal tissue is destroyed/adrophied by antibodies formed by the patient's own immune system. Other causes of Addison's disease are tuberculosis, hemorrhage, and fungal infections. Secondary adrenal insufficiency is a result of dysfunction of the hypothalamus or pituitary. The condition can be fatal if left untreated.
Signs and Symptoms of Addison's Disease
Decrease secretion of adrenal cortex hormones (glugocorticoids and mineralocorticoids)= Addison's disease.
Lethargy, fatigue and muscle weakness
Menstrual changes in women and impotence in men.
Hyperpigmentation ( bronzed color to the skin) with primary Addison's diesease
- this is a life-threatening situation caused by acute adreanal insufficiency
- brought on by stress, infection, trauma surgery, or the abrupt withdrawal of corticosteroid use.
- May cause hypoglycemia, and shock
Lifelong glucocorticoid therapy
once diagnosed with Addison's disease, one should always wear a medic-alert bracelet
diet high in protein and carbohydrate intake.
Avoid strenuous exercise and stress
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